Perkins ’22 Gains Valuable Experience In Business

Reagan Perkins ’22 — I want to thank the CIBE for funding my experience in the Business Innovation Program. I would also like to thank the CIBE Business Innovation Program for the opportunity to participate in such a great program. Approaching my last week, I can reflect upon the experiences I have been so fortunate to have. I learned a lot during the first week while working in Microsoft Excel with alumnus Zach Karl ‘18 during his financial bootcamp. I learned many tricks and valuable skills, such as how to create a balance statement, income sheet, and cash flow statement. At the moment, I want to go into finance or business so that these skills will be beneficial to me throughout my life.
I also enjoyed going over valuable case studies such as Disney, Proctor and Gamble, Chase Sapphire, and Kate Spade. These were valuable as I learned how to make decisions when running a business. Reviewal of these cases allowed me to begin thinking like an entrepreneur and taught me how to make decisions in the business world. I will be able to use this in the future, not just when working at or running a business, but as I make decisions in other areas of my life such as buying a house or starting a family.
Another significant aspect of this program is the number of valuable alumni encounters. I much appreciated meeting Rob Shook ’83. Meeting with him was fantastic because he changed the way I viewed networking and altered my approach to building essential relationships. I enjoyed visiting David Waldman, as he taught me about how committed one must be to start their own business and continue operating it. Jacob Stone ’17 was able to show me what it means to build your brand and how to popularize that brand. Tony Unfried ’03 and Jim Engledow ’78 demonstrated the importance of market research and what it means to “ask the right questions.” Shane Fimbel ’02 and Jim Abercrombie ’02 convinced me of how important it was to adapt to and learn new technologies, while Pat Jones ’15 reminded me that helping the community and others around you should always be the top priority when running a business. Kas Koehring ’18 taught me the basics of emotional intelligence and how I can utilize it in the workplace. Mike Simmons ’88 taught me the basics of marketing, how to apply it, and how to be good at it.
The lessons and skills I have acquired during the Business Innovation Program will be of great value to me during my future career.

Pipiras ’22 Takes Steps Towards A Career In Business

Sam Pipiras ’22 (left) & Andrew Page ’22 (right)

Sam Pipiras ’22 — The Business Innovation Program is an outstanding opportunity that some CIBE consultants are lucky to be a part of. Thanks to the incredibly generous alumni support Wabash College has, we can do some amazing things. Like this past week, we had Mike Simmons ’88 the President of Bridge Builder Strategies talk about his personal experience in marketing and discussed two case studies such as Real Madrid Club de Futbol and An Entrepreneur’s New Product Development Journey. While analyzing the Real Madrid case, Mr. Simmons and his team emphasized the importance of brand and product management. Another critical factor I took away from the reading is that the best businesses are the ones that create meaningful relationships with their customers.

On the other hand, when discussing the Product Development case, Mr. Simmons pointed out many pushbacks entrepreneurs face when developing their product. In the case, Gauri Nanda’s products failed because she did not have an overall understanding of the market around her. We learned that market research is crucial when starting out and will make or break your product. This past week we also worked on our consulting projects. In an effort to reach Wabash’s goal of a 5.5% endowment draw rate, our consulting group is creating a plan to maximize the efficiency of Trippet Hall. Throughout the school year, Trippet Hotel’s occupancy rate is about 2-3% and costing Wabash millions of dollars. Our objective is to figure out how much revenue Trippet can bring in if the occupancy rate is about 60% during the school year. For our final BIP project, we had to come up with a technology/app-based idea, and my group came up with Travail. Travail implements a software system that is directly linked to a personalized app we create for that hotel, resort, or cruise. The hospitality industry is losing a lot of money because their customers are going to local restaurants, bars, and excursion activities off hotel property. The service we provide for the hospitality industry focuses on promoting “on-campus” resort activities and improving hotel efficiency. The app has many features that set us apart from any competition such as pool/beach seat reservations, one-on-one communication with concierge, specify a time slot for room cleaning, restaurant reservations, poolside ordering service, on resort activities itinerary, and much more. Through the Business Innovation Program, my peers and I learn essential business skills, practice real-life business scenarios, and deliver business plans/pitches. I would like to thank the CIBE Business Innovation Program for the opportunity.

Gonczarow ’22 Takes Crash Course In Business

Andrew Gonczarow ’22 (left) & Seth Gallman ’22 (right)

Andrew Gonczarow ’22 — Wabash College’s Business Innovation Program has been very educational. This week, we focused on the financial side of business. Orr Fellow and recent grad Zachary Carl ’18, who works for Lacy Diversified Industries, came to Fusion 54 to show us how to make a financial statement in addition to giving us a tutorial of Excel. For example, I learned a useful short-cut in Excel called “v-lookup.” I can now confidently say that I can make a financial sheet. We focused most of our time learning how to make a cash flow statement, balance sheet, and an income statement. I also learned a lot of new financial terms in the process. I had the opportunity to practice my critical thinking skills by answering case studies which are complex mathematical/logic problems. My group had to figure out how much pizza is eaten per day in the United States. After looking up the population of the United States, we were able to estimate that about seven million pizzas are consumed in a day! I’m looking forward to this coming week where we will be discussing case studies on leadership in addition to giving a four-minute presentation on a topic that we are passionate about.

One lesson I have taken away from reading about the different types of effective leadership is that a good leader must have emotional intelligence. The keys to unlocking emotional intelligence include motivation, self-awareness, social skills, self-regulation, and empathy. We will also begin making our business plans this coming week for a food truck. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the Business Innovation Program and would like to thank Wabash College’s Center of Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship. I would also like to thank Alejandro Reyna and Roland Morin for the opportunity to take part in the Business Innovation Program. Lastly, I would like to thank Zachary Carl for taking time out of his busy schedule to teach us the basics of finance. I am looking forward to these next six weeks of learning and applying the skills that I have acquired over the past week.

Einterz ’22 Learns Why Majors Don’t Matter

Matthias Einterz ’22

Matthias Einterz ’22 — I’m currently in the sixth week of the Business Innovation Program this summer, and it has been an amazing experience. I joined the CIBE to learn about the ins and outs of the business world and prepare myself for life after Wabash, and I can confidently say that this program through the CIBE has surpassed my expectations and I have gotten even more out of these last five weeks than I was looking for. This last week, week five, was undoubtedly my favorite thus far, for both the quantity and quality of experiences and speakers we had. On Mondaywe had Jacob Stone ’17 come to talk with us about a Havard Business School case study. Mr. Stone also shared some insights from his time so far working at Eli Lilly. On Tuesday, we traveled to Platform24 in Carmel to meet with Tony Unfried ’03. He spent some time talking about his company Archon Tech Strategies but spent the majority of our visit talking more broadly about his experience as an entrepreneur. This was perfect for me and most guys in the program who have at least a vague ambition of starting a business in the future. His main message was the importance of listening to costumers. This message was echoed in the afternoon site visit when we traveled a few minutes down the road to meet with Jim Engledow ’78 President and CEO of Engledow Group. He gave a phenomenal presentation on the history and development of the landscaping company, outlining how they expanded the business from residential to commercial landscaping and eventually into interior, events, holiday, and floral just by listening to their customer’s needs. He also had a great saying that really stuck with me: spend 20 years learning, 20 years earning, and 20 years returning. On Thursday, we were in South Bend, but it almost felt like we were at a Big Bash reunion. We had the opportunity to meet and network with 12 Wabash men throughout the day. We started the day at Trek10 with Shane Fimbel ’02 and Jim Abercrombie ’02, who sold us on the importance of some basic training in AWS and cloud computing, which reinforced the notion that the Wabash liberal arts education means your career doesn’t need to match your major. Afterwards, we went to enFocus and met with Pat Jones ’15, who explained the amazing work they are doing in South Bend with their fellowship program, which seems to be set up similarly to the CIBE. After lunch at enFocus with several Wabash guys in the area, we finished up our day at Cup Print with Todd Hoogland ’15 who talked about how he brought the Irish company Cup Print into the US market after working on the project for his thesis in the ESTEEM program at Notre Dame. This internship with the BIP has been such an informative and formational experience, and I want to sincerely thank Wabash College, the CIBE, and all donors and sponsors of the program. 

Thambipillay ’22 Gets Feet Wet In Business

Nieshaal Thambipillay ’22

Nieshaal Thambipillay ’22 — Firstly, I would like to thank the alumni who have made the CIBE Business Innovation Program possible through their donations to the college, as well as the Lilly Endowment for funding this fantastic experience.

The Innovation Interns started the week on Monday with our first Mini Pitch for our mobile app, MatchFit. We traveled to Carmel on Tuesday morning to meet with Tony Unfried ’03 at Archon Tech Strategies. During our visit, Tony critiqued our app ideas and highlighted the importance of market research. Tony spoke about his mistake of neglecting to ask his target market if they would pay for the IV Bus, which failed.

After lunch, we visited Jim Engledow ’78, the President and CEO of the Engledow Group. Jim is incredibly humble and gave a presentation about the Engledow Group’s history. We were given a tour, learned about the Engledow Group’s operations size, and the size of the landscaping industry.

On Wednesday, we presented our Consulting Projects before leaving for South Bend. The Innovation Interns are using the Lean A3 Thinking method to solve our respective consulting group’s pains. From here, we learned the importance of presenting tangible data to draw attention to the issue.

On Thursday, we began our site visits in South Bend. We started the day by visiting Shane Fimbel ’02, Jim Abercrombie ’02, and Mitch Krum ’18 at Trek10. Shane, Jim, and Mitch spoke about their work at Trek10 and their paths after Wabash. Shane and Jim also talked about Cloud Platforms, specifically Amazon Web Services (AWS). My interest in AWS peaked when Shane and Jim told us about the potential growth of the Cloud Platform industry. We were also taught that our 20’s are for learning while our 30’s are for earning.

After Trek10 was enFocus where we visited Pat Jones ’15 and Jacob Burnett ‘15, as well as the interns, Joey Karczewski ’20, Darian Phillips ’20, and Tyler Ramsey ’21. Pat spoke about enFocus’s work structure, and I could not help but draw similarities between enFocus and the CIBE. However, enFocus workers differentiate themselves by spending 70% of their working time on a primary project and 30% on a personal project. To conclude our trip, we visited Todd Hoogland ’15 at Cup Print, where we learned about its operations as well as the size of the cup making industry in the United States and Ireland. We also learned about the ESTEEM Program at Notre Dame.

On Friday, Kasimir “Kaz” Koehring ‘18 visited us at Fusion 54 to discuss Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Before work on Friday, we read about “professional sons,” which I related to a more in-depth mentorship system. Kaz spoke to the interns about his experiences at Wabash and at IBM. Following the discussion, I spent some time talking to Kaz about his experiences living in Chicago and studying abroad in China, while I spoke about my experiences growing up in Malaysia and my transition to Wabash.

I am looking forward to the coming weeks of the Business Innovation Program!

Despain ’22 SoleSearch

James Despain ’22 — Coming into the fourth week of the Business Innovation Program internship, I had a good understanding of the use of Excel with the help from alumni Zackery Carl ‘18. He came and gave us our Financial Bootcamp. From the general use of Excel to developing a financial statement, I’m well prepared to use Excel in the future but still plan to expand my knowledge with the tool. Whether it is creating a business statement or other financial tools, this bootcamp prepared me for future endeavors. During a site visit, we were able to meet and talk with alumni David Waldman ‘93, the owner of Triton Brewery in Lawrence, IN. Growing up in Lawrence, I had seen the brewery, but never knew the history behind the building and the historic Fort Ben. David shared with us his background and how he was able to distinguish his business from other breweries within the state. David is a prime example that you can do anything with a Wabash degree.

James Despain ’22

For the internship, we are in the process of developing an app that would be beneficial to consumers. My group and I came up with an idea called SoleSearch. SoleSearch is the latest technology for comparing sneaker prices across the marketplace. The app provides the tools and information to save you money and make sneaker shopping as straightforward as possible. Real-time data allows you to view the entire sneaker marketplace from the palm of your hand without switching from multiple apps.

We also broke into groups and were assigned different consulting projects to help benefit the College. For my group, we are improving the College’s registration process. Our group is incorporating Lean thinking into this process to help make informed decisions. The goal is to make the process of professors getting class information to the registrar smoother and more efficient. By doing this, it makes the job of the awesome folks in the registrar’s office easier and gets information to students quicker and with more detail about classes.

Without the funding from alumni, this experience wouldn’t be possible. Their generosity and passion for making the experience of Wabash students are incredible, and I appreciate being able to enjoy the time and knowledge this internship has been able to offer me. I would also like to thank the CIBE Business Innovation Program for this amazing opportunity.

Seig ’22 Four Food Trucks & A Brewery

Gerard Seig ’22

Gerard Seig ’22 — Participating in the Business Immersion Program has been such a fantastic opportunity. We have already learned so much, and we’re just halfway through. Just this past week, we started the week learning Lean A3 thinking, which is a technique used to organize the problem-solving process. A3 thinking is a unique, collaborative tool that allows for my peers and me to thoroughly think through an issue so that we can create the best solution to that problem, but, most importantly, track our results. Later that day, we had a visit from an alumnus, the great Rob Shook. As per usual, he was a great speaker for the program. He told us many stories from his time at IBM and many stories from his time at Wabash. My favorite part of his speech was his plug for emotional intelligence, which is a skill that I’ve been improving since I participated in Unlocking Leadership with Emotional Intelligence. I am so grateful to Rob Shook for taking time off his work schedule to share his knowledge and wisdom with us. The week continued with our final food truck pitches the very next day. To add a little context, we the BIP interns split into four different groups and created a food truck idea. My group decided on a grilled cheese truck. We then drew up a plan and were tasked to sell the idea to investors. We had already done our mini-pitches as a practice round, but that day we were in the big leagues. Hugh Vandivier, Susan Dyer, and Julia Perry joined us as our new investors, along with Roland Morin and Alejandro Reyna. Surprisingly, the experience wasn’t as terrifying as it seemed. Pitching to investors might seem like an enormous task, but it came down to preparation. If you are well prepared, then you can go in with confidence and do your best. After the pitch, the investors would give you feedback that is invaluable for your next pitch or business experience. The next couple of days, we spent learning the basics of marketing so that we could use those skills in our app idea. We dedicated the afternoon of Wednesday to analyzing and reflecting on our StrengthsQuest. This internship is the third time I’ve participated in the StregthsQuest presentation, and each time, I am surprised by how centered I have become. Our week ended with a site visit to an alumnus owned brewery name Triton Brewery. We had a great discussion about entrepreneurship and what goes into maintaining a small business. Overall, week three was our busiest week so far, and it looks like it’s only going to be more active from here. It was a lot of learning as well as practice that will prepare us for the business world. I am grateful to Roland Morin, Alejandro Reyna, and the rest of the CIBE for this opportunity. I would like to thank the alumni and donators for making the Business Innovation Program possible.

Gallman ’22 Finds His Niche In Business

Andrew Gonczarow ’22 (left) & Seth Gallman ’22 (right)

Seth Gallman ’22 — The Business Innovation Program has been an extremely beneficial step in my young professional career. Through the three main projects of writing two business plans for two different mock startups and working on a consulting project for Wabash College, I have gained many new skills and abilities. Thank you to the CIBE Business Innovation Program for funding this wonderful opportunity for me. A few experiences I found extremely beneficial were the financial boot camp, the site visits to South Bend, and the trials and tribulations of writing a food truck business pitch. The financial boot camp led by Zackary Carl ’18 allowed me to become familiar with writing out full financial statements as well as how to actually understand and comprehend all aspects of financial statements. During the South Bend trip, we were able to visit alumni at companies such as Trek 10, Cup Print, and EnFocus. These three companies all do extremely different things. Shane Fimbel and Jim Abercrombie at Trek 10 taught us the importance of the cloud and how it has completely shaped the way they look at the business world. After this visit, I became more motivated to familiarize myself with the cloud and how it works. Cup print was a business sparked from Todd Hooglin’s project at Notre Dame’s ESTEEM program. This business does exactly what it sounds like, print designs for cups. Through this trip, I learned the importance of a process and business plan that sounds simple, yet still had so many aspects to make it work. The trip to EnFocus showed me how the non-profit is working to reshape the city of South Bend. It was extremely beneficial to see a business that works essentially like the CIBE at Wabash College but on a much larger scale. Finally, the food truck business plan provided many lessons and experiences that changed the way I think about startups. The humbling experience of pitching our idea to investors taught me how important market research and consumer feedback is when crafting a startup. While my group was able to raise the most investment money with our innovative Waffle Kebab idea, we learned that there was still so much untapped potential and work that needed to be done on our business model. Overall, this summer internship experience has changed my mindset on the business realm and has given me future insight into what career path I want to take in the future. I cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity, and I believe it has set me up well to succeed as a young business professional in the future.  

Cloran ’22 Shines In The Business Innovation Program

Isaac Cloran ’22

Isaac Cloran ’22 — Week 2 of the Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship’s Business Innovation Program started off with a focus on public speaking and presentation skills. Every innovation consultant presented on a topic he is passionate about. These presentations did not need to be focused on business, yet many were. For example, Andrew Gonczarow presented on the negative effects of Rap music/culture on today’s youth, highlighting the frequent references to drugs, alcohol, or violence that is represented as “cool” or “exciting.”  Another consultant, Nieshaal Thambipillay discussed his relationship with Malaysian Street Food, as he grew up in Malaysia. As for myself, I presented on the growing industry of esports, explaining the reasons for growth and the potential that the industry has in the future. Later on, each consultant gave a 1-minute “pitch” as to why he should be chosen as a business partner. Many consultants highlighted their leadership skills, or financial analytical abilities, as reasons they would be effective as business partners. This directly led to our first major project of the Innovation Program: the food truck. Four groups (of six people each) were required to define a business idea for a food truck, formulate a business plan, and present to Roland Morin and Alejandro Reyna as a preliminary round of funding for feedback. Each food truck idea was creative and exciting. My personal favorite, Waffles on Wheels, makes chicken and waffle kebabs, highlighting the portable nature and uniqueness as their main selling points. Other food truck ideas include the Dog House, Easy Cheesy, and Dough House. After the preliminary round of investments, Waffles on Wheels secured $20k in convertible debt, Dough House and Easy Cheesy secured $5k, and the Dog House secured $4k. Each team will present their final pitches on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, to a different group of investors made up of faculty and other alumni. Formulating this idea, describing a business plan, and presenting was very exciting, interesting, and informative. This activity exposed me and the rest of the innovation consultants to the real-world process of entrepreneurship, and while the steps we are following may be very simplified, it has been a good introduction to the world of business.  

Bertram ’20 Helping Pave A New Path For Ohana Software

Jared Bertram ’20 — This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at Ohana Software, a tech startup in Indianapolis. Ohana offers a mobile application designed for internal communication and employee engagement. My primary responsibilities as a Sales Development intern included prospecting and scheduling demos. Working at a startup can be a very rewarding yet challenging task.

Jared Bertram ’20

A startup is a great environment to learn and grow because there is no path to follow; you are helping pave a new and unique path. My team of three interns played a vital role in developing Ohana’s sales and marketing operations. I created and tested new sales tactics, and provided insight on specifics the company could improve on to help accelerate Ohana in the right direction. The freedom of this role allowed me to exercise my critical thinking skills, learn from trial and error, and find solutions on my own. More importantly, it taught me how to fail and learn from those failures. I definitely got my hands dirty and felt the work I did was valued and directly impacted Ohana.

A career in sales is challenging. It takes a unique, and driven individual to push through and have success! My key takeaway from this experience is the importance of building relationships in sales. I was too focused on reaching my sales quota, which caused me to sell the same product the same way. I overlooked all the critical details that actually lead to making a sale. All sales begin with forming a relationship. You must ask the right questions to understand your client and their specific needs. You then offer a solution to their problem, rather than sell a generic product. No product or service is a one size fits all!

I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and sales this summer. I also improved some personal skills such as teamwork, communication, and proactive solution finding, all while making many great connections! A big thank you to Cassie Hagan, Ascend Indiana, and the CIBE for helping me find and fund this internship experience. Also, thank you to Christina Zerfas for being an excellent mentor; I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Ohana Software!